Bleats

The Video For Thank U, Next Is Here And It's Everything We Hoped For

Thank u, next bitch!

After over a week of build-up and speculation, Ariana Grande has dropped the video for ‘Thank U, Next’, and it does not disappoint.

It starts off with what we saw in the teaser – people, including Jonathan Bennett, Troye Sivan, and the heavy-flow girl from Mean Girls, talking to the camera about Ariana as though she’s Regina George.

Then it cuts to Ariana in an amazing recreation of Regina’s bedroom, lying on her bed and adding the ex-boyfriends she’s singing about to the Burn Book.

“Sry I dipped.”

Pete Davidson and Big Sean’s entries are particularly noteworthy, with Ariana writing “Sry I dipped” and “HUUUUUUGE” (the latter in reference to rumours about his… size) on Pete’s, and “Could still get it” on Big Sean’s.

It then cuts to the Plastics, complete with Aaron Samuels, walking down a school hallway. Liz Gillies, of Victorious and Dynasty fame, plays Cady Heron fantastically, looking incredibly awkward and overwhelmed by all the attention the Plastics are getting.

At this point, Ariana proves how committed she is to the role of Regina, and shoves Troye Sivan into a locker:

And we see ‘Karen’ clutching her chest, because, as we all remember, she uses it to tell the weather.

There’s a 30% chance it’s already raining!

For the first chorus, Ariana recreated the iconic Christmas talent show scene:

Complete with Kris Jenner as Amy Poehler’s character of the overbearing mum:

The next teen movie she pays tribute to is Bring It On, so we cut to Ariana as Torrance Shipman, alternating between being in her bedroom and in the bathroom, recreating the toothbrush scene with Matt Bennett, another one of her former Victorious co-stars:

We then see Ariana in her cheerleading outfit, and there’s another cameo from a Victorious co-star in this scene, with Daniella Monet playing one of Ariana’s teammates:

She follows this up with her 13 Going On 30 tribute for the verse “One day I’ll walk down the aisle / Holding hands with my mama”:

The line after that, “I’ll be thanking my dad / ‘Cos she grew from the drama”, references her strained relationship with her father, from whom she is estranged.

The fourth and final movie Ariana references in the video is Legally Blonde, so next up is Ariana as Elle Woods, pulling into a college parking lot with her very own Bruiser, her Beagle-Chihuahua mix Toulouse:

At this point, there’s a break in the song as Ariana talks to Jennifer Coolidge, who played Paulette in the Legally Blonde movies, about her boy troubles.

Ariana teaches Paulette the Bend and Snap, and there’s even a new UPS guy (except his badge says “BDE” instead).

It ends with Kris Jenner shouting “Thank u, next bitch!”, which is a Huge Mood.

It’s the perfect homage to four movies beloved by girls of Ariana’s generation (so, me), and a great reminder that Ariana can do comedy really well.

Check it out for yourself here:

From Hannah Gadsby And Queer Eye To Pose And Love, Simon: LGBTQ+ Pop Culture Has Been Killing It This Year, And Here's The Proof

And almost all of it is by women, sorry 'bout it.

We’re only halfway through 2018, and it’s already been a banner year for pop culture and art made by and about LGBTQ people. It’s here, it’s queer, and it’s better than basically everything The Straights are doing.

Music

Hayley Kiyoko, Expectations

Known as ‘Lesbian Jesus’ to her fans, former teen Disney star Hayley Kiyoko released her debut album, Expectations, in March. The songs, and their accompanying music videos, are unapologetically gay, and often refer to her own experiences as a lesbian growing up. Hayley is currently touring the US with Panic! At The Disco, so here’s hoping there’s even bigger things for her in the second half of 2018.

Song recommendation: ‘What I Need’ (feat. Kehlani)

King Princess, Make My Bed

Mikaela Straus, aka King Princess, is Mark Ronson’s extremely talented protégé, and she released her debut EP just last month after releasing her debut single, ‘1950’, to critical acclaim in February. She was approached by Virgin Records at the age of 11, but turned their offer of a record deal down. We’re lucky she took the extra time to hone her sound, and Harry Styles is a fan too.

Song recommendation: ‘Holy’

Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer

Janelle Monáe effectively broke the internet when she released the video for the third single from her third album, ‘Pynk’. Many saw it as Monáe confirming the rumours that she was some flavour of not-straight, especially when viewed alongside the video for ‘Make Me Feel’. By the end of that month, she’d come out as pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone. 

It’s still relatively rare to see a queer black woman celebrate herself, her body, and her sexuality the way Monáe does in ‘Pynk’, and it’s refreshing and invigorating.

Movies

Rafiki

Rafiki, which means ‘friend’ in Swahili, is a Kenyan movie about Kena and Ziki, who are forced to choose between their relationship and safety. The movie was banned in its home country, but screened at film festivals around the world to critical acclaim, including at the Sydney Film Festival, where I saw it last month. It’s beautifully shot, and Kena and Ziki’s love story is heart-wrenching and life-affirming all at once.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Based on the book by Emily M. Danforth that I devoured in one sitting earlier this year, this film also premiered at the Sydney Film Festival last month. While some of my favourite parts of the book have been removed to keep the film’s runtime down, it still does justice to Danforth’s story.

Think of this as But I’m A Cheerleader without the satire, but with the same amount of hopefulness.

Love, Simon

Love, Simon is an adorable gay romcom for whatever the generation younger than millennials is called (I can’t keep up). It premiered at Australia’s own Mardi Gras Film Festival in February, and stars not one but two hometown heroes – Katherine Langford and Keiynan Lonsdale.

I saw this movie on my own, and I’m relieved I did, because I really didn’t need any of my friends seeing me ugly cry in a movie I wish had existed ten years ago.

Television

Vida

Vida premiered on Stan in May to what felt like minimal buzz, at least in my corner of the internet. Don’t let the lack of conversation around it fool you, though – this show is excellent. It’s about two Latina sisters who grew up in East LA and return after their mother’s death, only to find that their mother was married to a woman and heavily in debt. The first season follows Emma and Lyn as they try to understand their mother through the loved ones she left behind, and as they try to protect their family’s bar in the face of gentrification.

Pose

Ryan Murphy’s latest show focuses on late-80s ball culture in New York City, and it’s been praised for its diverse cast that includes several trans women of colour. Its produced by Janet Mock and Our Lady J (of Transparent fame) and includes appearances from James Van Der Beek (aka Dawson), Evan Peters (Murphy’s fave), Trace Lysette (Transparent), and Christopher Meloni (Elliott Stabler, obv).

We need an Australian release date ASAP! (Foxtel confirmed to Junkee this week that it would be here sometime this year, but come ON.)

Queer Eye

I know it’s hard to believe, but please believe me when I tell you that the all-conquering Queer Eye reboot only premiered this year – in February to be precise. It feels like the new Fab 5 have been brightening our days forever, but that tragically has not been the case. After an astoundingly successful season 1 in February, Netflix released season 2 last month, and followed that up with a special filmed in Australia’s very own Yass.

If you’re as starved for Fab 5 content as I am after binging season 2 in 24 hours, check out their episode of Nailed It!, enjoy Jonathan pitching us his Harold Holt true-crime series for Netflix, and follow them on Instagram (they update their stories religiously).

It’s not quite the same as a new season, but it helps ease the ache.

Nanette

There was a lot of buzz around this live show last year – if you’re Australian, you probably had a friend tell you to see it, and luckily for me, I listened to my friends, and saw it in January of this year.

Despite being thoroughly impressed with the show, as well as appropriately moved, nothing could have prepared me for the level of attention it would get after debuting on Netflix last month. The entire internet is obsessed with Tassie’s own Hannah Gadsby now. I’m beyond excited for her, and thrilled that the rest of the world now loves her as much as we do.

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